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Four Years In, Code for America's Experiments In Disrupting Govt Still Just The Beginning

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, October 14 2013

One of Code for America's projects this year uses text messaging to notify food stamp recipients about their benefits

Code for America's projects may not end world hunger, overhaul a broken criminal justice system, or solve municipal budget crises in of themselves — but both citizens and government officials see promise in using the organization’s philosophy and techniques to work more closely together to incrementally solve these kinds of problems. That’s becoming increasingly evident as the San Francisco non-profit enters its fourth year and convenes its annual summit this week downtown. Officials from 85 cities both in the United States and abroad are getting together to discuss everything from the merits and limits of acquiring talent and technology through the social coding site Github to implementing municipal entrepreneurship-in-residence programs. Last year, officials from 30 cities attended. Read More

First POST: Traffic

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, October 3 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Government shutdown of web services irking journalists; Grover Norquist is a Guy Fawkes fan; Lavabit's embattled owner explains why he shut his service down; and much, much more. Read More

ElectNext Scores $1.3 million To Bring Contextual Political Information To News Sites

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, April 2 2013

ElectNext, a political data startup, has just raised $1.3 million. Brooklyn Bridge Ventures in New York City led the round, which also includes Comcast Ventures, The John S. and James L. Read More

Two Civic Hackers On Why Open Government Isn't That Hard

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 13 2013

Civic hacking — using technology to improve or subvert anything that's wrong, broken, or just not good enough about the way politics and government work — is hard. It can be frustrating. But it's often also fun, two civic hackers told me today, and just because it's hard doesn't mean it's not worth doing. Read More

Mark Headd and Ryan Resella Talk About the Upside of Civic Hacking

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 13 2013

In response to this post I wrote yesterday, Philadelphia Chief Data Officer Mark Headd and Ryan Resella, a senior engineer at Upworthy and a veteran of Obama 2012 and Code for America, tell me I'm raining on a grand ... Read More

What Philadelphia's New "Director of Civic Technology" Is There to Do

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 15 2013

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's administration continues its own experiment in building a tech-savvy City Hall by appointing a "director of civic technology." Tim Wisniewski, 24, will move to the role from a position as assistant city managing director. He has been part of the city government since January 2012, and served prior to that as the executive director of a nonprofit working to improve commerce in the business corridor of a low-income neighborhood. While working for the city, he was the project manager on development of a mobile application for the city's 311 non-emergency services system. Read More

Philadelphia Opens Up Crime Incident Data

BY Sam Roudman | Wednesday, December 12 2012

Today the City of Philadelphia released crime incident data for all major crimes going back to 2006, and started mapping the last 30 days of crime data on the city’s portal. The release puts the city in line with similar programs in Chicago and Baltimore. Read More

Philadelphia Names Mark Headd As Chief Data Officer

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, August 8 2012

Philadelphia has named Code for America's Mark Headd as its chief data officer. Read More

San Francisco's Plan: Open Government, Open Data, Open Doors to New Business and Better Services

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, January 24 2012

In San Francisco, city officials have pulled together a core nexus of driven leaders, civic hackers, and big-name investors in the hopes that greater access to the city's inner workings can spur more web 2.0-style startups that solve problems government has, or maybe that citizens have because of government. Is this enough to make local government work better? Read More

Apps Contests Are "Alive and Well"

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 19 2011

Open government developer Mark Headd objects to Government Technology's recent article on the future of municipal apps contests, the one that I wrote up here. Headd suggests that some of the assumptions and observations ... Read More